I ended up getting some free time this weekend and on a whim decided to visit Louisiana Tech for a practice. It was Saturday, so they were competing in their first intrasquad scrimmage of 2012. I took it all in just as a casual observer (though I plan to get back and get some questions answered), but there was considerable growth and development since we last visited the campus.
I played around and experimented on my phone’s camera to capture what I could. I think what these clips show best is the tempo. Yeah, we know Tony Franklin practices fast and Tech churns out a ton of snaps during games, but it is the intense rapid-fire progression through their script that you’ve got to appreciate in-person. Each clip really is only 2 minutes long (I’ll correct that in the future), but they are firing off 4-5 plays in that time and that wasn’t even when they were running “attack” tempo. Also, the ease in which Tommy Spangler’s defense simply lined up and played variations on split-field coverage.
I’m trying to gain an appreciation for the rationale of Franklin’s perimeter-centric attack. His methodology actually showed a lot of promise over the weekend (despite a lot of crucial drops by receivers), with huge cutbacks inside after running power, stretch, and fast screens. What was most enjoyable to me, was watching Northwestern transfer running back Rickey Courtney and Haughton's Marlon Seets cutback on power for gains over 60 yards, and see OL Coach Petey Perot chewing ass for his linemen to get into the endzone (just like receivers in TFS are conditioned to do).
Here is an example of one of their concepts where Franklin is looking to get to the perimeter or exploit the inside at the same time.
The defense has to respect the 3-man surface to the field, so the 3-on-2 defensive advantage (C,S,N) on the X & H is lost when Y is introduced. Now a box player has to be aware of how he will have to help on the first inside receiver. In essence, not only are you going to put the read-defender (overhang / nickel) in conflict with a horizontal stretch, you’re also going to influence backside run-support gap integrity by attacking the box player (WLB).
It comes together beautifully when also eliminate a defender from the equation simply by space. The backside defensive end will be left untouched on a boundary stretch run and since the throw (backside) is so wide, he will not be a factor in stopping the pass (or reaching the passer because he will have to respect run action mesh taking place in front of him).
Now it becomes an attack on the WLB, the 6th box player. He can either fit in run support to stop the BIG runs of stretch, or he can help close the field-side chasm created when H & Y stretch the overhang defender with a Stick/Out. The WLB cannot do both.